Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman

Alan Schroeder, Author, Jerry Pinkney, Illustrator Dial Books $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8037-1888-3
This fictionalized account of Tubman's childhood on a Maryland plantation provides a cruel snapshot of life as a slave and the horrid circumstances that fueled the future Underground Railroad leader's passion and determination. At eight years old, Minty (so-called as a nickname for Araminta) boils with rebellion against her brutal owners and bucks their authority whenever possible. Deeming her too clumsy for housework, Mrs. Brodas banishes Minty to harder work in the fields. Toiling in the hot sun only intensifies Minty's desire to run away to freedom, and soon her father teaches her how to survive in the wild, so that she'll be prepared to make her break one day. Schroeder's (Ragtime Tumpie; Carolina Shout!) choice of lively vignettes rather than a more traditional biography is a wise one. With color and feeling he humanizes a historic figure, coaxing readers to imagine or research the rest of the story. Pinkney's (John Henry) full-bodied watercolors evoke a strong sense of time and place. Laudably, Pinkney's scenes consistently depict young Minty's point of view, giving the harshness of her reality more resonance for readers. A formal author's note follows the text and both Schroeder and Pinkney have included personal messages about the history of the book project. A firm stepping stone toward discussions of slavery and U.S. history. Ages 5-9. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1996
Release date: 05/01/1996
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7569-0430-2
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-33712-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-20365-4
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-14-056196-8
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-8037-1889-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-20246-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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